Originally from Melbourne, I completed my Bachelor of Science at Melbourne University in 2012 where I majored in Zoology. I then traveled and lived overseas multiple times and on my final return to Melbourne, I moved to the Gold Coast to pursue the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics at Bond University. Funnily enough my mum actually wanted to do dietetics and this is how I worked out this was the career for me. At the moment, I am working as a part-time Public Health Nutritionist for the QCWA but really do want to get into private practice.
Why did you choose dietetics as a career?
I chose to study dietetics because as a young, motivated and possible naive women, I wanted to change the global food system. Dietetics combines both the science and research of the food we eat, systems and protocols, coupled with behaviour change, mindfulness, compassion, and empathy to cover all steps of the from production to consumption. Still to this day, I want to change our food system, except my goal is a little more realistic. To change the food system, customer demand needs to change so at the moment this is where my focus is (and hopefully industry will follow).
Can you tell us about your food philosophy?
My food philosophy is a combination of eco-dietetics and mindfulness. Michael Pollon states ‘Eat food, not too much – mostly plants’ and despite this simple statement, it too is the core to my food philosophy. However for me it goes deeper than just eating plant based foods but highlights that we need to connect back with our bodies, the environment and the impact food has on the land and finite resources. To do this, my next venture is all about conscious dietary choices – whether that be for personal health, environmental health or both. At the end of the day, we need encourage a positive relationship between people and food, to love food again, appreciate it, cook with it and nourish their bodies, families and communities with it.
Can you tell us about your blog, Well Fed Explorer and how do you get ideas for your content?
Well Fed Explorer started out as a platform to build my writing skills, and report on my love for food, nutrition and travel. Ideas for blog pieces would come from my own nutrition related questions, friends questions and queries, and I would report on my recent adventures and cultural food experiences overseas. For those wishing to start a blog, its great but alot of work (especially when trying to juggle a Master degree) so I would consider writing for an established blog (e.g. The Nutrition Press) where you have a supportive network and editor to assist and critique your writing style and skills.
Back to Well Fed Explorer though, I have actually pulled it down to focusing on a new venture (as mentioned above).
What are you most excited about in the future?
I think it is a fantastic time to be a dietitian and there is so much potential out there. A lot of new and exciting nutrition research is emerging and people are really starting to care about local and global food systems. Although this is only a start, it is in fact a start and maybe a glimmer of hope. As such, dietitians (including myself) need to step up in this area and use there nutrition and public health knowledge to be leaders and advisors in the field. Don’t ask me how but we do.
What is the largest lesson you’ve learnt?
A few months ago I wrote an article for The Nutrition Press on the job prospects of dietitians. Although I decided to take an optimistic spin on the situation and describe where I think there are future opportunities in dietetics, the fact of the matter is, it is hard. The job market is hard to crack into but all you can do is keep on keeping on, fake it to you make it, be confident, follow your heart, make smart goals and enlist some fabulous and inspiring mentors (I am still looking for mine). I say this because there are always going to be naysayers and people that question your motives or your ideas… the ones that look at you funny and turn a blind eye or look down at you because you are student. Take this will a pinch of salt and use it as motivation to be bigger and better.
What are the top 3 questions that new student dietitians ask you?
I always get asked about my voluntary work with The Nutrition Press. The first question I still get even after finishing up with The Nutrition Press almost 8 months ago is ‘How did you commit enough time and balance university studies all at the same time?’.
On reflection I was extremely strategic about how I used my time and motivation. I saw writing for The Nutrition Press as an opportunity to improve my written communication skills, stay up with the latest evidence and research a topic I was interested in. I also started volunteering quite early in my degree so although uni was hectic is wasn’t as crazy as my final year and by the time this rolled round I decided that I did not have enough time to volunteer and instead would focus on my final year of nutrition and dietetics. My top tip for volunteering is, don’t do it because others are doing it. Find something you need improvement in and are interested in and volunteer in that area, think outside the box and don’t be afraid to step up to the challenge.
Favourite mobile app: Hopper – An instagram scheduling app that does not require a push notification to release the post on instagram!
Favourite food: Absolutely 100% cheese! I love a good aged cheddar or soft and gooey brie with a glass of Pinot Noir…combine the two and this is the way to my heart!
Something I always have on my desk and why: A glass of water to keep hydrated, my trusty Mac Book Pro and a little leather bound note book – given to me by my partner, that is full of all my crazy thoughts and business ideas.
Top time management tip: I have lists everywhere but really my biggest time management tip would be i) write the list of things to do in order of priority the night before, ii) don’t just write the list, tick items off the list too.